Getting to Santa Monica via LAX Airport is easy and getting around in Santa Monica is even easier. With over 400 restaurants, 90 museums and galleries, 3.5 miles of beach and Los Angeles right next door, leaving just might be the hardest part of your stay.

Lauren Carroll - Bus Driver

Getting to Santa Monica

By Plane: LAX Airport to Santa Monica

Santa Monica is 8 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-8GMT), in the Pacific Time Zone. The U.S. Daylight Savings Time is observed from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.

Approx. Flying Times to LAX Airport From U.S. Locations:

Atlanta (ATL):4.0 hours
Chicago (ORD):3.5 hours
Dallas (DFW):2.5 hours
Denver (DIA):2.0 hours
Houston (IAH):3.0 hours
New York (JFK):5.0 hours
San Francisco (SFO):1.0 hours
Seattle (SEA):2.0 hours
Washington, D.C. (DCA):4.5 hours

Approx. Flying Times to LAX Airport From International Locations:

Auckland (AKL):12.5 hours
Beijing (PEK):12.0 hours
Cape Town (CPT):19.0 hours
Copenhagen (CPH):11.0 hours
Dubai (DXB):16.0 hours
Edinburgh (EDI):10.0 hours
Frankfurt (FRA):11.0 hours
Hong Kong (HKG):14.0 hours
London (LHR):10.5 hours
Mexico City (MEX):3.0 hours
Moscow (DME):11.5 hours
San Juan (SJU):6.5 hours
Singapore (SIN):16.5 hours
Sydney (SYD):14.5 hours
Tokyo (NRT):10.5 hours
Vancouver (YVR):2.5 hours


LAX FlyAway®: FlyAway bus service between LAX and Santa Monica. Buses operate hourly from 5:45am to 11:45pm every day, including weekends and holidays from LAX and the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium (1875 Main Street). One-way fare is $8 and children five years old and younger are free.

Big Blue Bus: The Rapid 3 line runs between the Green Line Metro's Aviation Station and downtown Santa Monica with additional stops within the city. From the transportation islands at the airport, shuttles run to and from the Green Line Station (Route G) and to the LAX City Bus Center transit station (Route C) at Parking Lot C, which is the best place to catch the Rapid 3. Allow about 20-30 minutes for shuttle connection and travel. The local route #3, which makes more stops en route to Santa Monica, also operates from the transit center at Parking Lot C.

Rental Cars: There are a variety of rental car companies located at or near Los Angeles International Airport. The drive to Santa Monica takes about 15-20 minutes depending on traffic. Santa Monica also offers a number of convenient car rental options for getting around town. More information can be found online, through your travel agent, or by contacting Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Shuttles: Rates for vans between LAX and Santa Monica start at approximately $15 per person one-way, $30-$40 round-trip per person, ($10-$20 for each additional person) not including tip. Shuttles are located on the lower level.

Taxi Cab Services: Santa Monica offers a number of franchised taxi companies available for your travel needs, all of which offer a flat rate fare from Santa Monica to LAX ranging from $29-35 depending on your location in the city and not including tip (approximately 15% of fare).

By Train & Automobile

Amtrak: Amtrak operates out of Union Station in downtown Los Angeles. Terminal is located at Union Station, 800 N. Alameda Ave., Downtown Los Angeles. From there, taxis, shuttles, MTA buses or Big Blue Bus (the #10 Express; fare is $2) connect to Santa Monica.

By Car: A variety of Automobile, Limousine and Tour Companies are available, with offices all over Santa Monica. Please contact Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau for more information.

Getting Around Santa Monica

On Foot: Santa Monica is concentrated into just 8.3 square miles (13.5km). Most of the hotels, attractions, and primary shopping and dining districts are clustered within easy walking distance of one another.

By Bike: Santa Monica is a bicycle-friendly city, with well-marked lanes, routes, paths, and bike racks located all over town. We encourage you to rent a bike as a fun, economical, and green way to explore. Download a free bicycle route map

By Bus: Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus serves Santa Monica, the west side of Los Angeles, LAX and 10 neighboring communities with more than 1,000 bus stops. An express line connects downtown Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles.

By Car: Pacific Coast Highway (California 1), the Santa Monica Freeway (Interstate 10), Santa Monica Boulevard (Historic Route 66), and Wilshire and Pico Boulevards run directly through the city.

By Santa Monica Shuttle: Launched in May 2014, the Santa Monica Shuttle is a free hotel-sponsored service that covers the Downtown Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Pier, Main Street, and Montana Avenue areas and is available at select hotels. Pedestrians can flag down the vehicles to be transported within the service area. The service runs seven days a week from 11:30am until at least 8pm, later on weekends and for special events.

Getting to Neighboring Areas

Santa Monica offers easy access to the Los Angeles network of freeways with express routes all across Southern California – from Downtown Los Angeles to Disneyland, from Pasadena’s Rose Bowl to Malibu. Surface streets offer scenic routes between neighborhoods.

Big Blue Bus: Local lines serving Santa Monica, the west side of Los Angeles, LAX and ten neighboring communities. Express lines connect Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles.

Metro Rapid and the Metro Bus: Serving Santa Monica, Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, the Valley and many other Southern California regions.

Metrolink: Commuter light rail line serving greater Los Angeles and other Southern California counties.

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